Getting turned around while pursuing a fly ball is one of the worst, most helpless feelings in sports.
Whether it’s in the big leagues, in little league, or even in slow pitch softball, panic sets in as soon as you realize you are running back on a fly ball and looking over the wrong shoulder.
The possibilities of what could go wrong are endless, and include any of the following: falling down on your back as you reach to attempt the catch, losing the ball and seeing it land in front of you, running too far and seeing it land behind you, and having it actually hit you in the back/neck/head because you lost track of it when you tried to look over the other shoulder.
That makes this catch from Washington Nationals’ center fielder Denard Span on Saturday all the more impressive. Trying to track down a deep shot to straightaway center field, Span turned and sprinted like he has likely been taught all his life.
As the warning track approached, Span realized he was getting turned around. He quickly switched to the other shoulder, found the ball again, and made a leaping catch in the ivy at Wrigley Field. I suppose the guy is a professional outfielder for a reason. The Nationals went on to defeat the Cubs 3-0.
Check out the catch from Span below, courtesy of MLB.com: